American schools are becoming increasingly diverse. With the increasing diversity in school enrollment, professionals are faced with the challenge of providing culturally sensitive services in all areas, including crisis intervention planning. Additionally, language differences also affect help-seeking behaviors and may serve as a strong barrier to effective service delivery. Taking into account individual school and district demographics, schools must consider strategies to best meet the needs of students and families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. As a starting point, this thesis provides an overview of the literature on school crisis response. Current demographics in U.S. public schools, the perceptions of school safety, and crisis intervention planning will be discussed. Cultural perspectives of trauma will be addressed, considering community resources, help-seeking behavior, and language barriers. Interviews with open-ended questions were conducted with 10 Spanish-speaking parents. Questions were based on the following categories: parents' overall views of schools safety, help-seeking behaviors, and perceptions of school crisis planning. The discussion section reviews the resulting themes. Themes drawn from parents' interviews will inform this particular school's crisis intervention planning and improve supportive services for Spanish-speaking families. Although this research focused on one particular school, information is discussed in a broader sense, offering suggestions to improve cultural sensitivity and reduce language barriers in school-based crisis planning efforts.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





crisis plan, multiculturalism, parents, school, Spanish